Why This Blog? Why Now? Why This title?

I am no longer blogging under duress. This part remains true: I had a blog once and I lost the password...and then, I gave up. I really am not a giver-upper, but there is a point of diminishing returns to anything that takes energy, passion, and vision and yet, doesn't work out. So, off I go again, wish me luck! AND knock on wood I have had luck. And it is sort of fun.

P.S. Why this title? I read this phrase today 6/16, don't remember where. I liked it. I'm using it. I might change it. It may or may not have relationship to the content.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Recent Conversation

I just wanted to put this out before the conversation gets cold. In a recent chat with a colleague about going with what the learner wants to study, vs backwards unit/lesson design (we were having a UbD...Understanding by Design...discussion), the idea of being locked into something by virtue of too much planning came up, at least that was my interpretation of the conversation. The conversation  made me think of Perkins' book "Making Learning Whole" and his idea of "playing the whole game". I think the relationship between the two (UbD and "Making Learning Whole") is that by planning assessments after thinking about what you want students to know and understand IS playing the whole game as the assessments, as UbD suggests, are performance assessments. Designing the learning after designing the assessment and, presumably, building a theory of difficulty, IS playing the whole game via junior versions.

I think what my colleague was talking about was going straight to the whole game and playing/living it. Wouldn't it be great if we could learn in such an organic way that you could literally put a big rock in the middle of the room and ask kids to move the rock from one side of the room to the other there by addressing all kinds of authentic, real time, performance learning...truly playing the game of problem solving. Or to be able to simply say, "what do you want to study, I'll guide, you learn and eventually you will know or be able to find out all that is important.

I believe that all who believe in the "whole game concept" would go there if a time frame and expectations of the rest of the world didn't exist, how fun would that be! but time frame and expectations do exist. I think playing the whole game through an UbD design is coming very close to the ideal.

1 comment:

  1. Well said Noreene! I completely agree with your synthesis of the struggle between the 'whole game concept' and UbD design. Have to admit I miss the 'old days' when there was more space to use the 'whole game concept.' I don't think most people would agree or acknowledge that we were on the right track many years ago, but I believe we were. I think the path got messy as the state tried to mandate things. I miss it. Personally, I don't think we'll ever be able to mandate student learning or teacher effectiveness, so why don't we get off that track and onto the real learning?
    Love your blog!